I am an avid fan of Jonathan Kellerman and am always the first to praise and recommend his books to my friends. However, this one came across to me as a real bomb. Neither Alex nor Milo had his usual sparkle and their back-and-forths, usually so lively and entertaining, were dull, to say the least. The writing, itself, was not up to par but was better than a lot of writers on their good days. I guess what I objected to most was that the author went on and on about the characters' pasts and maladies rather than advancing the story. The killer identified himself halfway through the book and the rest was merely filling. I would rather read a short, really great book than a long, repetitive one.
I will, of course, listen to more of Mr. Kellerman's books and I'm sorry I felt compelled to write this review but when my favorite author, at least in this genre, fails I had to tell you about it.
I only gave this book two stars because Lisa Jackson wrote it and books from her pen usually earn a four or five from me. Otherwise, I would have given it a one star rating. Without Mercy is probably a pretty darn good book. I wouldn't know, though, because Angela Dawe has to be the worst narrator in the business. Her reading of the material slides from being so loud that I had to reduce the volume, to being so quiet that my Bose volume didn't go up high enough for me to understand what she was saying and this up and down went on throughout the book. I don't know what her purpose was but it went way beyond irritating, right to infuriating.
I missed out on much of the characters' backgrounds and motivations. Luckily, these were recapped in the epilogue. After struggling through the entire 13 CDs, I gave a minute's thought to listening to the book all over again to see if I could discern what I had missed, but that's all it was, a minute. I couldn't put myself through that torture again.
From now on, when I look at an audiobook, I will read the synopsis first, then check to see who the reader is. If it is Angela Dawe, I'm sorry. but it's on to something else for me
This is a wonderful book and Karin Slaughter is a wonderful author. Now, with that out of the way, let me talk about the characters. This is my second book featuring Will and Angie whose 25-year love affair is both aggravating and truly moving. While they both grow and mature, it is hard to watch them take two steps forward and one step back. But they are detectives of the first order and a marvel to behold as they add and eliminate clues throughout the story, with the reader constantly wondering which of them will get to the evil-doer first.
Then, there is Jonathan and his sister, Joyce, both very good people to whom very bad things have happened. Their lives have been completely disrupted by the evil acts of others but, are they beyond repair?
And we cannot forget about the homicide detective. Michael is really the cog at the center of this wheel. He claims he wants to solve the mystery of the murdered little girls. Does he want the glory that will rain down on him if he manages to bring his suspect to justice? Or, does he have other, more personal, reasons for pursuing this suspect?
Karin Slaughter did something here that no other author has managed to do for a long, long time. She had me completely bumfuzzled from the very beginning and just when I thought I knew how the story was going to end, the author took an abrupt U-turn that left me hanging.
It was wonderful!
While I ultimately figured out who the real villain was, I had to wait until almost the end to ascertain his motives and discover who else was involved. But, there were a couple, "And then what happened?" and two "Why did (s)he do that?" left over at the very end that were never answered but balanced against the entirety of the book, the book wins.
I cannot think of many other books I have read in my lifetime that were even close to being as tedious or as trite as this one. The storyline and all of the characters, including their personalities, backgrounds and motivations have been done to death. I only made it though the first 1 1/2 chapters before I had to admit that I couldn't take it anymore. It was time to listen to a good writer and wash the taste of this one out of my mouth.
I cannot believe that I actually paid good money for this uninspired, boring collection of words.
I read this book; my son and daughter read it; now, I am buying it for the edification and enjoyment of my four grandsons. May they be as thrilled by it as my children and I were.
If this book measures Ms. Spencer's ability to write, she needs to find another occupation.
The hero is supposed to be chock-full of morality, yet while he is still married, he moves in with his appropriately witchy old girlfriend.
That the heroine is emotionally damaged goods is obvious from the first disc, but heres where the repetition cuts in and continues almost all the way through the story. Unfortunately, she makes no effort to do anything about her problems.
The hero's parents and the heroine's brother are the only likable people in the story. What really demonstrates the lack of character of both protagonists is the fact that after their baby is born, he makes very little effort to visit his child and neither of them make the smallest effort to see that his parents (who have been nothing but kind to her and have given both of them absolutely everything) have an opportunity to see the baby or develop a relationship with her.
Has Spencer never had any children? Does she not get along with her in-laws? There is something missing here and it comes out blatantly in this book.
No more for me.
I thoroughly enjoyed this audio book. It was a white-knuckler right up to the end, filled with evil villains by the bushel. The background stories by Charlie as well as by Christian's parents were fascinating and added to the suspense. The author's pace and tone were excellent as were the characterizations, particularly that of the emotionally wounded Annabelle.
This was my second book about Bobby and his cohorts and their characters were well-written as usual and it was good to see Catherine again.
Although I saw one of the resolutions coming, the final confrontation between Annabelle and her nemesis caught me by surprise because I didn't expect it to be placed where it was in the story. This particular scene was so explicitly written that I felt as though I was there punching, kicking and dodging right along with the heroine.
Great job, Lisa.
It's a sad commentary on our society that we tossed these people out on the street and left them to survive the best way they could.
I have either read or heard nearly all of Susan Elizabeth Phillips' books and this is quite possibly the best book of this genre I have ever read. Susan is able to imbue her characters with her own wacky sense of humor and her ability to describe people and places is singularly remarkable, surpassed only by Stephen King.
I thoroughly enjoyed Heath's meeting with Annabelle's family for dinner. By the end of the scene, I was forced to reevaluate my perception of her family (except for the snitty wife, of course).
Now we get to the best scene of the entire book: Heath's encounter with "The Blue Lady". I call her that so as to not spoil the scene for those who have not yet listened to the book. Heath's initial reaction to her when he opens the door was exactly right and the rest of the scene was so hysterical that I rewound the CD twice and enjoyed it as much the third time as I did the first. I rarely find somthing to read or listen to that is "laugh-out-loud" but this certainly qualifies. My reaction went from a snicker to a chuckle and finally to laughter so loud that it brought my husband into the room to find out what was going on.
This book contains everything I want in a good read: It's funny; it's entertaining and, as for holding my attention? More than enough left hanging at the end of a chapter to lure me on to the next one.
Susan, keep it up. You're the best!
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